Excerpt from The World Wide Reference Book of the Nation’s Treasures, Europeana, 2008, virtual edition: 

"HAYDAMAKY have set a new European trend in Ukrainian music. The band has its own alternative identity, a base of genuine Ukrainian folk music and a distinct social message formed by a group of high level professional musicians. It is an intellectual ethno-system, an example of lively world music culture with elements of modern Kozak rock, dub, punk, reggae, ska, and historic Ukrainian and Balkan music treasures. 

The band was formed at a time of world-changing events and the emergence of the Ukrainian national consciousness. Haydamaky soon left the underground stage, but instead of merging with the Ukrainian music elite or playing for the diaspora, they went further on to gain Europe's favour. Haydamaky’s audience grew from random passers-by in the streets of Berlin to crowds numbering in the thousands at the world’s largest music festivals such as Lowlands, Mundial, and Przystanek Woodstock. The band’s albums are released in Ukraine, England, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia by one of the four major music labels – EMI, and WOMEX Top Label award winning EASTBLOCK, Germany. Their concert performances extend from the Black Sea to the Norwegian Sea covering Baltic and Roman-Germanic countries, bringing together the minds and ideas of people from all over the world. "   


The year 2012 for HAYDAMAKY proved to be saturated with a number of important events. On January 29 they together with Polish rockers performed the joint “golden” musical program at the ceremony of opening of the main football arena in Poland for EURO-2012 Warsaw National Stadium. By the way, HAYDAMAKY were not only single Ukrainian group, but also the only foreign group to be invited to take part in this ceremony. Soon the dominant event in the new history of the group happened: change in its membership in February 2012. This serious and complex step was due to the long-lasting disputes inside the band concerning the further trends of creative work. In spite of many efforts, no compromise was found, and as a result of the failure to understand one another, HAYDAMAKY renewed the membership. of musicians. The author of the songs and vocalist Oleksandr Iarmola remained the leader of the band.

At the beginning of February 2012 HAYDAMAKY presented the first single “Divchyna z Dnipra” from their future new album and the initial renewed membership including the famous Polish guitarist Piotr “Dziki” Hantsevich, bassist Tomash "SOOLOO" Solnitsa, drummer Dmytro Kushnir and accordionist Dmytro Motuzok. The participation of the Polish musicians was temporary and connected with difficulties to find suitable musicians in Ukraine for such a short time needed for non-stop work. In fact, their help was very fruitful for the band. Many successful arrangements were made with them for both old and new songs. One can see Dziki and Sooloo in the video for the song “Divchyna z Dnipra”. Some time later Dziki became the producer of the new album “Hodi Spaty!” released in 1913 and performed the guitar part in it. The change in the membership of the band significantly affected HAYDAMAKY’s sound. The first single was keenly appreciated by listeners as a high-quality product of the European standard. It was a piece of harmonic and aggressive Ukrainian rock-n-roll admixed with folk. This change in style was desirable: Oleksandr Iarmola had long dreamed to turn the band to rock-n-roll. And at last the band’s sound is different: driveful, sincere, sometimes even hard, powerful, with vivid rock charge.

On April 25 HAYDAMAKY gave their first concert in the renewed membership. It was held in Iarmola’s native town Chornobyl, which was symbolic.

Therefore, since 2012 the band HAYDAMAKY has included the following musicians:

Oleksandr Iarmola – vocal, sopilka, lyrics (1993)

Dmytro Motuzok – accordion (2012)

Dmytro Kirichok – bass (2012)

Dmytro Kushnir – drums (2012)

Andrii Slieptsov – guitar (2012)

Roman Dubonos – trumpet (2012)

Maksym Boiko – trombone (2012)


In such a way, the new history of the band started. In 2012 HAYDAMAKY played many concerts in Ukraine and Poland. Furthermore, over the whole 2012 they worked at a new album, which was released in April 2013 under the titles “Hodi Spaty!” (in Ukraine) and «No More Peace!» (abroad). In January 2013 a video for the song “Call me later” was filmed with the participation of young Polish reggae-performer Kamil Bednark. Thereafter the band toured Poland and Germany.

In April 2013 the official presentation of the new album was held in Crystal-Hall in Kyiv. In May 2013 HAYDAMAKY played at the Reperkussion festival in Spain (Galicia) together with the world-known star MANU CHAO, with whom they shortly found common language.

In 2011, the life of Haydamaky was full of important and interesting events. Some of them are worth  mentioning specially.  
The album-book «Voo Voo ї Haydamaky», created and released in Poland, became an unchallengeable  bestseller in its style. HAYDAMAKY were awarded with personalized “Golden Album”. 
In June HAYDAMAKY  successfully  participated in Tribute  of Serhiy Kuzminskyi’s (Brothers Gadiukiny) “Ja Vernuvsia Domiv”  along  with the best rock bands of Ukraine. 
In July at the large-scale festival “The creation of Peace” led by A. Makarevych where 200  musicians from 12 countries took part, in particular the frontman of scandal punks «SexPistols» John Lidon  (with the project «Public Image Ltd»),  leader of  the rock-legend «Creedence Clearwater Revival» John Fogerty,  president of the festival A. Makarevych  with “Orchestra  for Creole tango”,  «Bі-2», Garik Sukachov  with «The Untouchable” and the like, the Ukrainian band HAYDAMAKY once more  demonstrated their high level of mastership before the 250 -thousand audience.   After the performance of HAYDAMAKY  the general producer of the festival Sergiy Mirov said: «I’d like to mark an astounding Ukrainian band HAYDAMAKY. By now it is the coolest representative of the Ukrainian rock. Sorry to say, in general, modern music in Ukraine has been developed far better than in Russia.”  
Furthermore, HAYDAMAKY participated in the implementation of a number of social projects. In April they took part in  the memorial concert in a bomb shelter in the framework  of the charity cultural marathon “Remember”, the aims of which were to remind everybody the tragic disaster at the Chornobyl Nuclear Station,  to pay attention to their consequences  and to gather money for acquisition of required equipment for the Center of Oncohematology and  Marrow Transplantation at the hospital “OKHMATDYT” , where sick children from all regions of Ukraine  receive treatment for cancerous blood diseases . In November in the framework   of  the educational project “Alternative lessons of history”,  Oleksandr Yarmola and Fagot (TNMK)  realized  a multimedia  lesson named “Carpathian Ukraine”. This project was initiated by NGO “Ne bud bajduzym”to withstand the groundless perversion of the historical truth in novel textbooks  “History of Ukraine”. 

This was also the first time in the band’s history that HAYDAMAKY crossed the ocean.  The visit to Canada had a great impact on the musicians – it made a shocking impression and expanded their outlook on the world.  The band played successful concerts in Canada’s largest cities – Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatoon.  There, 8000 kilometers away from Ukraine, fans knew the words to HAYDAMAKY songs by heart.  The band only needed to play two notes before the hall went crazy, and at the end of the song – there was a flurry of applause.  The band was the headliner for the largest Ukrainian festival in North America – the Toronto Ukrainian Festival (2009, Toronto, Canada), which like Europe’s Sziget with HAYDAMAKY on the Main Stage, gathered close to 400 000 people.  These were the last concerts played by drummer Ruslan Ovras.  At this point, new blood – Serhiy Borisenko – definitely became a part of the team.  Upon the band’s return from Canada, they played shows in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and in cities across Ukraine as part of the Rock Sich Festival (2009, Ukraine).
On December 5th, HAYDAMAKY played at the Palats Sportu – the largest concert hall in Ukraine – for a festival of Balkan music Balkanfest (2009, Kyiv, Ukraine).  A large hall and a European scale event helped the band to demonstrate its high standard and potential in Ukraine – the show, which was organized by the HAYDAMAKY was attended by several thousand Ukrainians.  The Festival culminated with Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra’s song Bubamara, performed jointly by the HAYDAMAKY and Gogol Bordello’s lead singer.  On the stage of the Palats, the musicians created a massive, thrilling dance floor inviting fans up on stage for the finale.

From May to September, HAYDAMAKY had an uninterrupted summer concert season.   “Kozak-Rock” was heard at festivals such as Stare Misto (2009, Lviv, Ukraine) and on the Italian radio station Volxfesta (2009, Bolzano, Italy) in the southern Alps.  HAYDAMAKY performed at the final concert of the cultural expedition Linz Europe Tour (2009, Linz, Austria) put on by the founder of Alpine rock Hubert von Holzen.  Serbian VJ masters Zeljko Serdarevic and Dragan Mileusnic created for HAYDAMAKY an ingenious video program, which the band used for every large-scale concert, while designer Olesia Telizhenko created the musician’s unique costumes. 
The band’s project with Voo Voo was the headliner for the Inne Brzmienia Festival (2009, Ljublin, Poland), where it was first performed a year earlier, it was also presented at the Wegorzewo Eko Union Rock festival (2009, Vehorzhevo, Poland) and at a string of club concerts.  Performances with the Polish music grandees presented the joint album VooVoo & Haydamaky, which had been distributed on June 4th by Poland’s largest media corporation Agora.  The booklet style album was the first in a series of prestigious record projects by famous Polish artist Inne Brzmienia and Voo Voo’s manager Mirek Olszowka.  The record was presented in Warsaw at Agora’s anniversary gala.  The album’s first edition was distributed two weeks later.
Towards the end of July, HAYDAMAKY performed at the FelSziget Peninsula Festival (2009, Thru-Мuresh, Romania), and two weeks later, they played on the main stage of the largest and most popular festival in Central and Eastern Europe – Sziget (2009, Budapest, Hungary).  The first performance for HAYDAMAKY, a band from Ukraine, on a world stage of this caliber and importance, was a great event for Ukrainian show-business and all the more, it sent its reverberations throughout Europe.  After Hungary, HAYDAMAKY performed on one of four stages at the Huntenpop festival (2009, Varsselder, Holland).  With the Voo Voo project, the band was the headliner for the second day of the Jazz Koktebel Festival (2009, Koktebel, Crimea, Ukraine) – a brilliant, extensive three hour concert, presenting the joint album in Ukraine.  This was the first time that Serhiy Borisenko played drums for the group.

Towards the end of November 2008, the famous German live-show producer Kader Kesek, known throughout Europe for his work, made a special trip to Ukraine to work with HAYDAMAKY.  With summer rehearsals at Europa Park on the Ukrainian Week stage, 6 days of meetings while touring Poland and Estonia, and 5 days of full day rehearsals in Kyiv, HAYDAMAKY and Kader Kesek created a world scale concert show.  The band’s sound became more powerful, more dynamic, more colourful, while clearly arranged accents brought the group to a new level of quality.  These changes created an accurate determination of the new “Kozak-Rock” music.  The night after their last rehearsal, the musicians flew to Holland for a performance.
That same winter, the show was performed at the Kustendorf Film & Music Festival (2009, Kustendorf, Serbia) – a festival put on by cult producer Emir Kusturica, EuroSonic Noorderslag (2009, Groningen, Holland) – one of the world’s largest pop music expos, the 59th international film festival Berlinale (2009, Berlin, Germany), and in clubs across Austria, Germany and Holland.  These were the first performances with the band for young trombonist Oleksandr Charkin.  In Spring 2009, HAYDAMAKY recorded a joint song with Polish trash-metal band Rootwater, adding a particular slavic madness to the complex heavy riffs.  The band played a string of concerts across Europe and released a new video devoted to the anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster.  On April 26th, the video for the song Meni Zdayetsia from the Kobzar album, filmed by Serhiy Volkoviy in Chornobyl and the uninhabited town of Prypyat, combined with the use of startling archive footage, was shown by dozens of TV channels. 

Touring around Europe, HAYDAMAKY played at Lowlands (Netherlands, 2008), one of the world’s largest festivals, headlined a massive music event Ander Art (Munich, Germany, 2008), and were the day’s headliners at a large Hungarian club gathering Hangfoglalas Soundquest Festival (Budapest, Hungary, 2008). From October 2nd through the 11th, the band played at the closing of each day at Ukrainian Week (Rust, Germany), a Ukrainian culture festival held in Europe’s largest amusement park, Europa Park. 
On July 19, 2008, a joint project by HAYDAMKY and Polish cult band Voo Voo was presented at the Strefa Inne Brzmienia Festival. Voo Voo became a metaphysical foundation on which Haydamaky built their sound and created an incredible music mix.  According to Voo Voo, the Polish intellectual music grandees who released over 30 albums, cooperation with HAYDAMAKY encouraged them to learn more about their own culture. The original idea for the joint project was thought up by Voo Voo’s leader Wojciech Waglewski. He admires HAYDAMAKY’s music, calling it the work of genius, and HAYDAMAKY, in their turn, say it is a great honour to work with Voo Voo. The compilation of their joint works was recorded and released in Poland in February 2009 within the Inne Brzmienia music series.  

A studio high in the mountains, unique analog equipment, and the high moral values and professionalism of the studio’s owner presented the perfect conditions for creating new material. Exquisite work by Cezary Borowski at DRStudio (Wisla, Poland), processing and mastering by famous dub-masters Mario Aktivator and Jarek Smok at AS One Studio gave the new album its final touch. Released in Spring 2008, Kobzar was a mix of rap, dub, reggae, ska, the rich authentic sounds of the bandura by Ivan Tkalenko, the band’s own lyrics and Cossack songs, Ivan Leno’s young daughter singing (Malanka) and a sociopolitical spirit (Message).    
An atmospheric video for the song Message was recorded at DRStudio with Pidzama Porno’s leader Krysztof Grabowsky and Reggaenerator, and Pablopavo – an alternative duo from the Vavamuffin band. The video was directed by Taras Khimych. Later on, three more videos were produced: 4 Dvory (4 Courtyards) directed by Anton Khomyakhov, Rosa (Dew) and Efir (Ether) by Viktor Pryduvalov.  An animated video for the song Malanka created by Serhiy Melnychenko, the director of the Chervona Sobaka (Red Dog) Studio for children, won first prize at the Minianima Talent Contest held at the Open Night. Take 12 festival, and a viewers' award at the 3rd International Festival of Independent Cinematography KinoLev-2008.  
The Kobzar European promotional tour covered 8 countries: Belgium, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, seven concerts in Germany and a debut in Sweden and Denmark. After it was released in Ukraine the album was presented in Berlin by the EastBlock Music label.  
"Kobzar – it is our thoughts, it is our tales about our life. It is nomadic and protected solely by our own angels, just the way it was with any wandering kobzar in the times of Haydamachyna", said Oleksand Yarmola. The European tour ended on March 7, 2008, with a HAYDAMAKY solo concert at the International Center for Arts and Humanities Zhovtnevyj Palace, Ukraine. Press from the international music journal B EAST Mag and the Franco-German TV company ARTE, which broadcasts Europe's liveliest art and culture news, travelled to Ukraine especially to attend the event. 
The concert was a hit! That evening HAYDAMAKY created a precedent, becoming the first Ukrainian band with folk elements to rise up from the underground, to cause major excitement in the non-pop culture scene. The event was highlighted by all major Ukrainian mass media. According to members of other Ukrainian bands, the event was the impetus that led this type of music to a new level of perception by both listeners and musicians. HAYDAMAKY’s huge solo concert in the downtown area of Ukraine's capital, promoting the band’s fourth album Kobzar, was truly historic.  

The song Lystopad (November) was recorded when the Orange Revolution was at its peak.  It was the first song on the band's third album Perverziya, which was released a year later. The new album was recorded with the participation of Ukraine’s violin genius – Vasyl Heker, one of the disciples of folk double-bass play – Yuriy Barbenyuk, and cimbalom players Ivan Kavatsyuk and Volodymyr Polyovchyk. One month later, in January 2006, HAYDAMAKY signed a contract with German recording company EastBlok Music and the new album was re-released in Germany under the title Ukraine Calling.    
The new release was a milestone in the group’s history. HAYDAMAKY’s popularity skyrocketed. Collaboration with the concert agency Agents4music and later with La Candella resulted in the first wave of massive tours, presentations and interviews on Europe’s major TV channels, offers, invitations and flattering reviews.  A few weeks after the release, the album appeared at number seven on the World Music Chart Europe. In the meantime, the song Za Nashov Stodolov (Behind Our Barn) made its way onto Charley Gillet’s playlist, one of the BBC’s leading world music radio DJs, whose radio program The Sound of the World is broadcast all over the world. In October 2006, thanks to the album Ukraine Calling, the German label EastBlok Music broke into WOMEX’s top twenty for the Top Label Award 2006. HAYDAMAKY, whose creativity was so highly appreciated, participated in the award ceremony in Seville, Spain.  
Ukraine Calling or Perverziya was greatly inspired by the creativity of the post-modern Ukrainian writer Yuriy Andrukhovych. The very work was a tribute to the writer’s talent. In 2007, in addition to solo concerts in Ukraine and other European countries, the band participated in AmsterdamRootFest (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Mundial (Tilburg, Netherlands), Musicas do Mundo (Sines, Portugal), recorded two music videos for Kokhanya (Love) and Bozhestvena Trompita (Heavenly Trompita) directed by Taras Khymych.   

HAYDAMAKY travelled on a joint tour of Slovakia with Asian Dub Foundation, as well as tours throughout the Czech Republic, Romania, and Estonia, the band performed at the Orkiestra Swjatecznej Pomocy Festival (Stalowa Wola/Warsaw, Poland, 2004), and at Ukranie’s Sheshory Festival, Mazepa Fest, Rock Ekzystentsiya, etc. 
In autumn 2004, trombonist Ruslan Trochynskyi and dub-master Vlad Hrymalskyi were replaced by percussionist Serhiy Bravanyuk and trumpet player Eugeniu Didic. During the cold winter days when people were fighting for democracy at the Maydan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv, HAYDAMAKY played on stage to support “the people of the Maydan”.  Day after day, the explosive energy of the “Warriors of Light” warmed and inspired nearly 500 thousand Ukrainian patriots.   
The year 2005 started with an intense tour throughout Poland where the band played more than 30 concerts, of which 12 were played in January. HAYDAMAKY performed at the Krayina Mriy (Land of Dreams) Festival (Kyiv, Ukraine, 2005) and other Ukrainian festivals. HAYDAMAKY were the first to represent Ukraine at Europe's largest stage at Przystanek Woodstock (Kostrzyn nad Odra, Poland, 2005) – the group performed as a prime time guest band on the main stage and headlined the festival’s folk stage. Reviews following the event noted a significant increase in the number of admirers of Ukrainian folk music as interpreted by HAYDAMAKY.  The band was nominated for the Woodstock Prize under the Plebiscyt Zlotego Baczka contest. 

A new name, a new approach, new possibilities. Oleksandr Dem’yanenko (guitar, domra and mandolin) was invited to play with the group.  In addition to playing solo concerts, HAYDAMAKY were invited to participate in festivals all across Europe, such as the Pohoda Festival (2001, 2002, Trencin Slovakia), the Viljandi Folk, and Parismuusika Festival (2003, Viljandi, Estonia), and Litomerzickyj Korzen (2002, 2003, Litomerz, Czech Republic). 
Still working on their second album, the group released their first video Polissya directed by Victor Pryduvalov. While the Haydamaky album featured such outstanding musicians as Vitaliy Pantsyo (cimbalom) Taras Kompanichenko (kobza), Yevgen Horyslavskyi (trumpet), and Oleksiy Kabanov (lyre), the second album Bohuslav gathered even more of Ukraine's best musicians. In the song Legend (Bohuslav album), one can hear the unique sounds of the bandura played by Roman Hrynkiv, who is world renound for his joint works with Andreas Vollenweider and Al Di Meola. Famous bandura and guitar player Yuriy Fedynskyi came especially from New York to participate in the album’s recording; back-up vocals for the album were performed by an authentic Ukrainian choir, Bozhychi. While working on the album, HAYDAMAKY immersed themselves even deeper into Ukraine’s folk culture in search of ideas, material and texture for the album. The Bohuslav album was released in April 2004.  A few months later, a video was made for the song Bohuslav under the direction of Oles Sanin.    

The band was noticed by the famous British recording label EMI and was soon made an interesting offer. This was the historical moment when Aktus changed its name to HAYDAMAKY in honour of those who fought in Haydamachyna (a peasant rebellion against foreign oppression in eighteenth-century Ukraine). The new name associated the band’s music with ideas of freedom and justice, establishing an even tighter link with Ukrainian folk culture, and taking the band to a totally new stage. 
A contract with HAYDAMAKY was EMI’s first deal in Ukraine. The year 2001, saw the release of HAYDAMAKY’s self-titled album. It was the music of the new millennium.

HAYDAMAKY’s journey in the formation of their philosophy, style and composition began in February 1993 in Kyiv, when a new member Oleksandr Yarmola joined the local underground rock band Actus ( where Ruslan Ovras (drums) and Volodymyr Sherstyuk (bass-guitar) were playing) and completely changed its outlook. Oleksandr had previously sung in folk choirs, played the sopilka and Ukrainian percussion instruments.  Headed by a new progressive front man the band released an album entitled Ranok (The Morning) – noticeably influenced by Celtic folk tunes.  In 1995 the band was honoured at the Chervona Ruta Festival. 
A year later, HAYDAMAKY’s style changed once again as Ivan Leno (accordion) became a member of the band. In search of a fresh alternative, they turned to the sounds of reggae, ska and punk, and by mixing these different cultures the band presented their own music style comprising elements of Ukrainian folk music.  It was not only the sounds that attracted HAYDAMAKY to these genres, but also the political impact they had on society, as well as the fact that significant social changes could be achieved through music. While touring throughout Europe, the band recorded another album called No One Comprehends, which was released in 1998 by the KOKA label, Poland.